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Dining in the Dark

Dining

Brenda and I attended a meeting in Chicago last weekend.  Tom Sullivan was the keynote speaker at the dinner Saturday night.  For those of you who do not know Tom Sullivan, he is a singer, actor, author, athlete, motivational speaker and soon-to-be contestant on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars!  Oh, and he is blind!  Dining in the Dark…what an experience!  The concept is to somewhat understand what a blind person goes through to accomplish a simple task, like eating a meal. I have to admit, there was a bit of trepidation on my part.  The evening went like this…we ate our salads and ordered our entrees, then, as our meals were placed before us, we donned blindfolds.  I tried to memorize the whereabouts of my utensils, my water and wine glasses, the food on the plate, etc.  Luckily, I ordered the salmon…no knife required!  I struggled with knowing, or not knowing, how much food was on the fork, if food had fallen off the fork on its way to my mouth and if it had fallen, where it was.  There were many times I got a fork full of nothing!  Locating the water glass, drinking some and replacing it without it teetering on the knife or bumping the plate edge was a challenge at first.  Using both hands was definitely a must!

The salmon was good, but not flavorful.  Was that a function of not seeing it with my eyes, enjoying the grill marks or because I was in the Midwest where dining on ‘fresh off the boat’ salmon is not possible?  The interesting facet of this experience was the amount of food not eaten…or left on the plate…not just by me, but by everyone at the table.  We all stated that we had eaten til we were satisfied.  Do our eyes, or our ability to see the food, play a part in consuming food past the satiated point?  Or, was the task of eating without seeing difficult and/or frustrating that stopping was easier than continuing?  Hmmm…some food for thought.  🙂

Anyway, our Dining in the Dark experience was designed to raise funds for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, an organization restoring sight, one treatment at a time.  Check out foundationfightingblindness.org.

Dr. Lynette